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Millennials are known as the generation of smartphones, over-priced coffee, and a reputation for entitlement and leisureliness. Despite this, the success of millennials is becoming increasingly apparent in the workplace. Look around your office and you’ll probably notice the ages of both employees and managers is decreasing significantly. A survey by office-equipment maker Pitney Bowes found that about 20% of mid-level corporate employees now report to a boss who is younger than they are.


However, in this age of entrepreneurial startups and advancing technology, different work styles and perceptions of those differences can create many challenges. For example, there is a stark difference between millennials and baby boomers. While older workers spend more time in the office within regular work hours, the younger generation often prefers getting their work done whenever, whether at home or from their laptop in a café. These kinds of philosophical differences can have negative effects on productivity. However, there are ways for younger people in authority to handle this gap. Below are a few tips on how to instill authority and respect in the workplace.


Be Mindful


Older employees can certainly be put off by having to report to a younger manager. It’s important to be aware of those feelings and acknowledge them. Don’t assume you have the upper hand due to your higher position. Express an interest in your employee and ask them for their opinions on how you can improve as a leader. They may very well have insights that can benefit you, and they will appreciate your respect for their experience and knowledge.


Give and Take


Give lessons, provide feedback, and offer firm and feasible guidelines for your employees. In return, take feedback as well. Older employees are often more knowledgeable about the company and its history. Take advantage of their deeper well of experience, both in the office and generally in life.


Do Your Job


It can be daunting being a young manager. However, instead of shying away from being an authoritative, strong leader, it’s important to keep your goals in mind and get the job done. Not confronting older employees who aren’t working to their full potential, or letting others take the lead merely to make them more comfortable, will only decrease productivity. You’re the manager for a reason; prove why.


Older employees should implement these tips in the workplace as well. Along with being mindful, providing feedback, and doing their own jobs, it’s important for older employees not to get too bogged down in ego and commit to working with a younger manager. The knowledge and experience of the older generation and fresh perspective and energy of the younger age group can be combined to contribute to the workplace in a positive manner. Getting past age discrimination – from both sides – will help everyone work together and be more productive.


Tasnia Nasar | Contributing Writer

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Blog, Human Resources

Consultants sometimes have a bad reputation with management experts, often face criticism regarding the cost of a few weeks of work (sometimes in the millions), or for being paid to tell leadership teams what they already know. However, there are a number of reasons why businesses benefit from consultants.


It can be hard for existing management and/or employees (busy with daily tasks) to take а step back and analyze a potential problem in their business or office. Consultants offer а fresh set of critical eyes that can help with measurement, analysis, and improvement. Critics might write this off as glorified common sense, but new insights and the ability to identify underlying issues can add significant value to operations. А fresh perspective is critical to а company restart, or to new business ventures where employees and/or management are too involved with the project to recognize possible issues.


Functions and Levels

In most cases, the consultant or firm will build а fact base over а period of а few weeks to а month. They’ll interview people across the board, as well as observe daily routines. Consultants will often start with the organization’s customers (if possible) and then work up through sales and line roles. This information offers lots of insights into the company that the executive team might miss or lack the time to investigate themselves. Interviewing people across functions can also help foster creative problem-solving (something that rarely happens in larger companies). It’s а good idea to have а consultant on board to unlock this kind of insight.


Problem-Solving Expertise

When you’re hiring а consulting firm, you’re hiring а dedicated group of people with one objective: to solve your problem. Having people who can focus their attention on а defined project is a valuable asset. In many ways, they’re better able to make observations, efficiently assess and improve the company than current employees who already have plenty on their plates.


Consultants have also likely served multiple clients before you. They can recognize problems quickly and apply lessons learned in previous cases. They possess an expanded knowledge base that can be valuable to your company. They also belong to networks and associations that give them access to resources you likely don’t have. Given their training and skills, consultants are quick learners, capable of understanding a problem and developing а strategy to solve it, helping a company achieve its objectives.


Impartial Advice/Observation

Consultants can give advice through а more objective lens. They’re independent from the organization, so there’s no hesitation to give unbiased observations and recommendations. This is partially why companies choose to hire outside consultants rather than rely exclusively on internal feedback; those within an organization can be conflicted and sometimes hesitant to give accurate recommendations for fear of being harsh.


External Change Force

It can be difficult for executives and CEOs to do what’s right for their company if it requires changes or reductions in benefits, major operational changes, or even layoffs. It may seem like an easy way out, but many companies hire consulting firms to do the “dirty work.” In а sense, the consultant becomes the scapegoat for those who want to distance themselves from making individuals unhappy while reaching the company’s goal. This provides political cover for senior management, and if something goes wrong, the consulting firm can take the responsibility.


Implementation and Training

As an executive, you have а lot of things on the go; you don’t have time to train everyone on adopting new technology or implementing new strategies. Almost every consulting project incorporates client training. This means whoever you hired to do your consulting will educate your employees on necessary skills, knowledge, technology, etc.


There’s no point in receiving recommendations if employees are unable to integrate and maintain suggested changes. In this way, consulting firms add enormous value to your company. Not only will they tell you what’s wrong, they’ll equip you with the knowledge required to overcome the problem and reach your goal.


There’s а reason why consulting companies rake in $2 billion а year. Generally, business consultants help companies and small businesses improve performance and streamline operations to become more efficient. They identify problems and create solutions, as well as provide objectivity. They’ll also do some unpleasant tasks for you, such as eliminate staff. They know how to get the ball rolling when it comes to revamping your company and offer much more value to a business than just advice.


Helen Jacob | Contributing Writer

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Blog, Human Resources

Older generations have always been critical of the younger ones. From Socrates referring to youths as “bad-mannered tyrants with a lack of respect for their elders” to current young people being blamed for killing countless industries – the toxicity is real.

The current generation receiving the criticism flack is the “millennial,” currently between 21 and 37 years of age. The accusation that they’re the reason for the collapse of several businesses isn’t unfounded. They just can’t afford diamonds, houses, and sometimes even cereal. This comes as no surprise, as millennials carry an average debt of $42,000. As these debts soar and inflation continues to rise, it’s likely the deaths of once-booming industries won’t end any time soon. On the surface it appears as though millennials are doomed to fail, but is it all bad?

The average Canadian lifespan, as of 2011, is nearly 82 years. Compared to the 57-year average in 1921, Canadians are living approximately 25 years longer than previous generations. It was once believed that as people aged, they became more politically conservative. The millennial generation proves that it isn’t age that makes one conservative, but wealth – and millennials don’t have much of that. There’s a reason why money isn’t everything for the younger generation; they prioritize work that’s ethical and makes a social impact over a big paycheque, are more politically engaged, and more educated than any preceding generation (thus the heavy student-loan debt). Despite what some baby boomers might tell you, millennials are hard-working and motivated, making them an asset in the workplace.

Passion is what drives millennial ambitions. Previously, working hard at a job you hated wasn’t frowned upon. Now, you can work just as hard at a job you hate, just like your parents and their parents before them, and still struggle to make ends meet. Suddenly, working as a teacher might be just as risky as pursuing dreams of being an actor or painter.

But the ideal life is no longer built around a picket fence and a 9-to-5 job with benefits. In fact, millennials are dominating their side hustles, and putting their passions into overdrive on top of their regular work week. In the U.S., more than half of millennials are starting apps, freelancing their talents, or trying their hands at things like YouTube channels.

With all of this time and energy going towards work and passion projects, more and more members of this generation are waiting longer to have children, which also has its benefits. Having children later in life has proven to make you a more patient parent, and also makes you more likely to raise emotionally healthy adults. And, with people living into their eighties, waiting to have children doesn’t mean sacrificing time you get to spend with them.

All in all, millennials take a lot of criticism from previous generations, but obtaining multiple degrees and working longer hours doesn’t leave much time to dwell on those judgements. And eventually, we’ll turn our attention towards the entitled kids of the next generation.

 

Jasmine Cormier

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Human Resources

Beyond having the right product and service, it’s vitally important that every organization ensures that its employees are all good fits. Employing staff who are ill-suited to their jobs will cost your company time, money, and effort. However, with the proper tools, training, and direction, a new hire is a premium capital investment, and your company’s most valuable asset. 


While the world is increasingly driven by technology, nothing can replace old-fashioned experience and intuition, meaning your human resources department is required to ensure your greatest success in this regard.


With that in mind, here are some pointers to help you yield better results when seeking the perfect hire for your company.


Establish the Need to Hire
A proactive and strategic HR department will always ensure that the company has the right quantity and quality of people to keep the business running. In cases of manpower requisition, HR and management must be able to answer the two key questions before initiating recruitment:

  1. Is the vacancy created due to internal movement such as a resignation, maternity/paternity leave, demotion, or termination?
  2. If none of the above, is it due to business expansion?

Since hiring is an overhead expense, return on investment (ROI) should always be taken into consideration. It’s also crucial to examine your existing workforce, as you might have a potentially qualified internal candidate who’s long overdue for a promotion. Review employee profiles and records or announce vacancies internally. You can also check for underutilized personnel that can fill open positions. Only once you’ve fully exhausted your internal resources should you proceed with the search for an external candidate. Management, with the assistance of HR, may opt to promote from within or divide up the required duties within the department or the broader organization to save time and money while increasing employee motivation.


Conduct Job Analysis

Envision what you want and define your labour needs in clear terms. This tool is not only used in recruitment, it could also be a realistic basis for training, wage and salary administration, and job re-engineering. The output of job analysis is a well-crafted job description, which should be the foundation of a competency-based recruitment strategy. It clearly defines the scope and responsibilities of the job as well as relationship with other positions and departments. It should be up-to-date and include the reporting structure, challenges and opportunities, and qualifications.


Map Your Recruitment Platform

The goal is to have a systematic hiring process that will aid HR and management in attracting the best candidates for the job. The more qualified candidates you have, the more likely you are to find the ideal person for the position. Utilizing the details in the job description, management and HR will create job specifications, a salary range, and a hiring timeline. For employee morale, make sure to advertise the position internally; internal placement is a great way of motivating employees to perform well. If it’s to be an external hire, the reasons why should be clearly explained and communicated. One of the advantages of internal hiring is that culture fit – one of the top considerations in hiring – shouldn’t be an issue. When an internal candidate is offered the new position, a transition timeline with their current supervisor should be planned.


If there are no qualified internal candidates, HR can proceed to external sourcing, which should incorporate both traditional methods like posts on job boards (both online and offline), job fairs, campus recruitment at colleges and universities (if appropriate for the position), and social media. For more high-profile positions, HR should be trained on how to find skilled candidates who may not be openly searching for a new job.


Effective Screening and Selection

Most job postings will be met with a flood of applicants. To simplify HR’s job, setting criteria and preparing structured interview questions will aid in efficiently separating the best candidates from the pack, almost like a hiring scorecard. Effective HR should accomplish the following:

  1. Screen resumes by matching information to the job checklist.
  2. Conduct phone interviews with candidates who meet certain predetermined criteria (say, three out of five items on the checklist). The best of the phone-interview performers will be invited for a face-to-face interview. Again, based on internal scoring. HR should present the short-listed candidates to management.
  3. Verify credentials of the top three to five candidates by checking references (some industries also include a credit check as part of this process) and present the findings to management for the final hiring decision.

 

Overall, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to recruitment; it should always be tailored and catered to the type of business involved. By implementing the above tips, however, you’ll ensure that your organization is on the right track.


Business photo created by freepik – www.freepik.com
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Blog, Human Resources

Have you ever questioned the fairness of your management practices? An obvious gauge of how you’re doing is the relationship you have with your staff and how often you’re the subject of HR interventions. But some bosses get away with unfairness, without a word, often because employees are intimidated or fear for their jobs. For all those in a managerial role, here are some unfair practices that you need to identify and cease, in order of severity.

Illegal Practices

That’s right, illegal practices – because discrimination, harassment, and the denial of employees’ rights are against workplace fairness and equity legislation.

Have you ever limited, segregated, classified, or deprived staff of opportunities “based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability and pardoned conviction?” Have you been directing any intentionally offensive and improper conduct toward an employee? Have you withheld from your workers any of their legal entitlements, including a fair wage and public holiday pay?

If you’ve engaged in any of these unfair practices, you may have broken the law. You’ll be required to give an account when one of your employees takes union or legal action.

Unprofessional Practices

A tier below criminally unfair managerial behaviours are those that are unprofessional and inappropriate. Managers can be unfair in how they display nepotism or favouritism. Getting along with some staff better than others is only natural, but a line is crossed when managers recruit, promote, or give preference to less qualified employees based on the fact that they’re related, have a personal friendship, or share a common affinity.

Other inappropriate practices include taking credit for an employee’s work, unjustified exclusion from important projects or meetings, and denying well-deserved promotions or raises without explanation. Managers can also demoralize employees by publicly shaming or teasing them. All of these damaging behaviours can lead to staff lodging grievances against your organization.

Unhelpful Practices

The third category of unfair behaviour includes those that are simply unpleasant and unhelpful. Each person has different personality traits and cultural influences as well as insecurities, sensitivities, and varying levels of social/emotional intelligence. People can rub each other the wrong way and have different ideas of what behaviour is acceptable in the workplace.

A manager can think it’s okay, or even motivating, to be excessively critical, sarcastic, or passive aggressive to their employees. Other managers may unintentionally be hostile or unreasonable while under pressure or even due to issues in their own personal lives. However, it’s no excuse. If you have knowingly or unknowingly engaged in these kinds of behaviours to your employees, cut it out, raise your professional game, and resolve to be a more fair manager.

 

– James Paik 

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Blog, Human Resources

As a manager, you have an important role as a leader. You are responsible for maintaining order and generating success within the company. Your management techniques set a precedent among those you work with, so it’s important to make sure you use the proper techniques.

Paint the Big Picture

Regardless of the ranking of your management role, first and foremost you must define your projects and business goals. Make a list for all the different things that need to be done, along with the actions that employees must take. Without defining and enforcing the company objectives, there is no clear direction as to what everyone should be working towards.

Evaluate Worst-Case Scenarios

Be prepared for anything. Whether you lose a business partner or company data, make sure you have a plan. What flexibility have you implemented within your business plan? What can and cannot be sent back to the drawing board? Since we never know when the unexpected will hit us, it’s best to factor in worst-case scenarios while scheduling and planning.

Stay Organized

If you aren’t organized as a manager, your team won’t be either. You’re the go-to person when certain items are missing or if someone needs direction or help. If you forget about important contacts or lose track of important dates, you’ll lose time. Whatever organizational tools you may be using, remember that they will be the backbone of the project goals.

Establish Boundaries

As you constantly communicate with particular clients, employees, and co-workers, there’s no doubt that you will eventually develop a relationship with them. Although it’s human nature, you cannot let your professional guard down. It’s not difficult for people to sense when a manager is closer with some colleagues than others. You don’t want people within your company to feel left out or mistreated. Draw a fine line between what is professional and what is personal. Don’t jeopardize your job or the success of your company with personal dilemmas or office drama.

Consistency

Deadlines change, and your clientele may increase, but your work ethic should remain consistent. Don’t be a manager who is reliable on some days and isn’t on others. The more you do this, the more you hold employees back. Just as you need your employees to be consistent, return the same courtesy to them as well.

Trust

As a company lead, you must always be accountable for your actions. Everyone in the company is interconnected. If you’re providing false information to one employee, it will eventually travel to another, and so on. The worst thing is for your clients and business partners to notice these inconsistencies or inaccuracies. Don’t break trust between the people you work with.

 

– L. Shabudin

 

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Blog, Human Resources

Every organization, private or public, has a set of standards and policies to be followed by members. Non-compliance will require management to enforce corrective actions. There are several types of disciplinary measures based on the gravity or seriousness of the problem. The following will help you determine the type of sanctions that may be appropriate. keep reading

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Blog, Human Resources

The success of a company is bound to the performance, productivity, and dedication of its employees. You can have all the necessary tools for success, but if your employees aren’t all on the same page, your efforts and resources will go to waste. Setting performance standards will allow you to determine if your staff is meeting company targets and whether your organization is on the right path. It’s critical that everyone values and works towards the same goals. Performance standards help employees understand the importance of their roles and how their work affects the company’s success. The following tips can help you set strong performance standards for your company. keep reading

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